Wapentakes

Wapentakes

Wapentakes were administrative areas introduced during the Viking period and were similar to the Saxon hundreds. Leeds and the out-townships and other villages fell into two wapentakes. South of the river, Armley, Beeston, Farnley, Hunslet, Bramley and Wortley, known at the time as Reestones, were in the Morley waptentake which probably met at Tingley.  North of the river, Leeds, Newsam, Colton, Manston, Headingley, Cookridge, Adel, Shadwell, Allerton, Gipton, Seacroft, Horsforth, Sturton and Austhorpe were in the Skyrack waptentake which met at the Shire Oak at Headingley. Note the effect of the Harrying of the North which left so many places described as ‘waste’ and those also which were reduced in value. Interestingly, only Leeds and Sturton increased in value leaving the intriguing question why, unanswered.